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Novell: OpenSuse tools coming soon

The company plans to release software that will let outside programmers help with its OpenSuse version of Linux.

Novell plans to release tools early this year to let outside programmers help with its OpenSuse version of Linux, the company said Thursday.

The company in August as a way to draw more attention and involvement to its Linux products. The move closely parallels the way Red Hat, the top Linux seller, has created its Fedora version of Linux.

OpenSuse and Fedora are free; the companies sell support subscriptions for their premium products, and . OpenSuse has an important role in Novell's financial turnaround plan, which depends in part upon elevating the profile of its Linux products.

Early in 2006, Novell plans to release a "development framework" that will let outside contributors or third-party software developers contribute software or patches. The framework also will include a publicly available server that any registered developer can use to to build software, Novell said.

Since the site was launched, there have been 750,000 verified installations of Suse Linux, Novell said.